Ico designer to finish work on The Last Guardian 'in freelance capacity'

Fumito Ueda ‘quits Sony’

The creative figurehead behind Ico and Shadow of the Colossus has quit Sony Japan with his third project unfinished, a new report suggests.

Eurogamer sources claim that Fumito Ueda has departed as Team Ico creative director at Sony’s Tokyo development hub.

It is speculated that the 41-year-old will finish his third major PlayStation project, The Last Guardian, in a freelance capacity.

He will leave the company altogether when The Last Guardian is complete, Eurogamer said. He reasons for leaving the studio, if true, are unclear.

A Sony spokesperson was unavailable for comment when approached by Develop.

The report claims that Ueda’s departure has delayed the project past set milestones – an implication that Ueda has worked in a freelance capacity for some time.

The Last Guardian, a key PlayStation 3 project that completes a trilogy of Team Ico exclusives for Sony, has not yet been unveiled to the public in playable form. This year it was conspicuously absent at both the Tokyo Game Show and E3.

The first mention of the title in public was nearly three years ago, in March 2009, though the production phase will likely have run further back.

Shuhei Yoshida, who commands Sony’s global fleet of 16 development studios, recently claimed progress for The Last Guardian has been “very difficult, not as fast as we’d been hoping for, and the team has been under big pressure.”

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